Lackluster City Series

Sveum provided no background information on the incident.

"He hit him,'' he said about Corpas. "It happens sometimes.''

The White Sox had led the Central for 18 days before Tuesday, but had that run ended when they could not score off Carlos Marmol.

The biggest development of the series came Monday, when John Danks got his MRI results back. His continued absence with a strained shoulder means the Sox badly need Gavin Floyd and Philip Humber to improve, as rookie Jose Quintana isn't taking anyone's place now.

Since his breakout season in 2008, Floyd has been valuable mostly because of his durability. He takes his turns and turns in ordinary results — 33-37, 4.17 ERA from 2009 through '11. He's at a point in his career where he's paid to be better than that, but the reality is he's regressing.

Floyd's ERA is headed up for the fourth year in a row, sitting at an ugly 5.20 after his 61/3 scoreless innings against the Cubs.

"Gavin just pitched a great game,'' manager Robin Ventura said, adding that Floyd "gave us what we needed.''

White Sox fans have their natural pessimism in mid-season form regarding Floyd and the imperfect Humber, who has a 6.01 ERA despite those nine three-up, three-down innings in Seattle. But the reality is the Sox are still a darling of computers and many analysts, at least in the land of opportunity known as the AL Central.

Conventional wisdom probably sides with the Tigers, who have the division's top trio of big-game hunters in Justin Verlander, Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder. But computers tend to be emotionally distant, and both coolstandings.com and ESPN.com give the better-balanced White Sox about a 65 percent chance to make the playoffs and the Tigers only about a 26-percent chance.

The first-place Indians? Until their run differential is better than minus-31, don't even ask.

As for De Aza, what do you do when you feel like you just got drilled by a team you won't see again for another season?

"Just wear it,'' he said, smiling.

Then he was off to drink champagne from the BP Cup, figuratively, if not literally.

progers@tribune.com

Twitter @ChiTribRogers
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